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Thread Looking for advice on recording some rhythm tracks

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1 Looking for advice on recording some rhythm tracks
Hi, I have a couple of questions. First let me provide a little background.

I typically record acoustic duos and trios but now am negitiating to produce my first full band client. They are still acoustic based (so I'm not out of my league), but they are somewhat of a jam band. A very acoustic based sound with full drums, percussion, some elctric, keys and bass with a sound like the Dead with a bit of a Reggae feel. It is really important to them that I capture a live sound. Therefore, we will record as much of the rhythm tracks simultaneous as possible.

Gear - I'm recording everything into a Cubase SX2 DAW built strong with a gig of ram, 3400 64bit processor, 800 fsb, XP pro. For input I use a MOTU 828mkII which provides 10 anolog inputs.
For the project I am looking to add some additional analog inputs (hopefully my PC will handle it simultaneously). I'm looking at the SM Pro Audio A08 http://smproaudio.com/A08.htm

So, if I add the A08 or something comparable (suggestions?) I will have 18 analog inputs. I'm not sure my pc will handle that much at one time.

Here's where I need help.
How many tracks can I record at one time with my system? It is dedicated for studio use, rugged, and the specs are above.
What is the minimum # of tracks I should use for recording drums? This is a jam band but the drummer is not John Bonham (he's not the focus).

I need help with is managing my tracks the best I can. My hopes are to record the following live. But need to make sacrifices if it is better to have lots of drum tracks. I also need to be prepared that using all 18 analog inputs at one time may put too much strain on my system. I've never recorded more than 6 tracks at one time with my rig. However, I've played back 30 or more regularly during mixing without any trouble.
?? Drums
2 Piano (stereo)
1 Electric Guitar (1 amp mic)
1 Bass (likely direct)

Options but would be great for reference and possibly to keep.
1 scratch vocal 1
1 scratch vocal 2
1 acoustic guitar (direct - which will be recorded again with a mic during overdubs)

If anyone has suggestions to offer I am all ears. Thank tou very much.

Joe Carrano
www.carranomusic.com